Sustainable Development Governance

Sustainable development has long been recognised as a global problem requiring global solutions – to deliver these global solutions, international institutions and mechanisms are required to facilitate cooperation and assist in the implementation of international environmental law. The way these institutions work and interact with other parts of the intergovernmental system is known as ‘International Environmental Governance’ (IEG) or, a more favoured phrase recently, Sustainable Development Governance (SDG). Stakeholder Forum has worked on Sustainable Development Governance with partners ANPED, FBOMS and UN NGLS.

IEG and SDG have been debated hotly over the years – a number of proposals for reform have been tabled, including recommendations to establish a World Environment Organisation (WEO) which would effectively ‘upgrade’ the United Nations Environment Programme to an intergovernmental institution with a lot more power and influence – akin to the World Health Organisation or World Trade Organisation. Other proposals have been less embracing of a WEO and have recommended measures to raise the profile and coherence of environmental and sustainable development issues across the UN system, without setting up something as ambitious as a WEO. Discussion has continued for almost a decade on the appropriate path for IEG and SDG, reaching somewhat of an ‘impasse’ as nations cannot agree on the best way to go forward.

To address this impasse a number of initiatives have been launched – including the review of environmental management under the Joint Inspection Unit, the convening of a Ministerial Consultative Group and most recently the agreement to make Sustainable Development Governance a core theme for an Earth Summit in 2012.
Stakeholder forum has long been involved in the debate around IEG and SDG, and has contributed some valuable thinking and proposed a number of solutions. Most recently, Stakeholder Forum produced a paper launched at UNEP Governing Council, outlining some initial thinking on SDG towards Earth Summit 2012: International Governance for Sustainable Development and Rio+20 Initial Perspectives

Stakeholder Forum will be co-ordinating a number of activities on SDG in preparation for Earth Summit 2012 – you can find out more information by clicking on the tabs on the right.


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